According to Chinese mythology, long ago there was a monster named Nián (年) (which translates to ‘year’ in english). Nián lived in the deepest depths of the ocean and would come up once a year to fest on humans and animals that lived in a nearby village. On this day, the townspeople and animals would flee into the mountains. 

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One year, an old beggar came to the village seeking shelter, but everyone (even the animals) ignored him. They were too busy rushing off into the mountains. An old women took pity on him, letting the beggar stay in her home why she too fled.

The beggar set about decorating the old womens home. At midnight, Nián crawled out of the sea and into the village but stopped short when he saw the old womens door covered with red paper. Suddenly, firecrackers sounded, causing Nián to tremble in fear. When the beast saw the beggar, dressed in red, it fled back into the sea.

The villagers were surprised to find that their homes were still standing the next day. The beggar explained that Nián was afraid of the colour red and loud noises.  Now every year, the village decorates their home and dresses in red, firing off firecrackers at midnight.

Nowadays,  on New Year’s Eve, “families eat dinner in their homes fortified by red decorations. At midnight, firecrackers are sounded. In addition, people will wear new and festive red clothing to celebrate” (Chinese New Year.Net).

Read more about CNY at Chinese New Year. Net

 

By Miss Mileto

 

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